Tips for Planning Out-of-State Hunts
If you want to hit the road in search of waterfowl, here are a few tips to make the most of your out-of-state adventure.
Planning a waterfowl hunt far in advance can be tricky, as migration can be somewhat unpredictable. So do your research and stay flexible. Use resources such as Ducks Unlimited’s migration map, consult with wildlife agencies, and check in with any local contacts you might have to make sure you’re timing it right.
If you’re planning a trip halfway across the country and can’t put boots on the ground ahead of time, take advantage of digital resources to scout out potential hunting spots where you can set up and escape the crowds. Scope out the typical wildlife management areas but also look for lesser-known private lands that are open to public hunting — wildlife agencies can usually provide some good info. You can also use scouting tools such as onX to check out the terrain and get landowner names in case you want to knock on doors once you get there.
Secure your licenses ahead of time and keep in mind that each state can have different hunting regulations. Check with wildlife agencies to ensure you know season dates, legal shooting hours, bag limits, and other state-specific standards.
Planning an out-of-state trip doesn’t just require a lot of thought about when, where, and how you’ll hunt. It also takes a lot of juggling the logistics of travel. Make sure you’re researching dog-friendly accommodations, emergency vets in the area, and places you can stop to let your pup out on the road. Determine what gear you’ll need for the areas you’ll be hunting – can you get by with some decoys or will you need a boat or blind? Have a plan for cleaning, cooking, and transporting birds home or dropping them off at a taxidermist. Start planning early and don’t wing it.